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DAC blind test: NO audible difference whatsoever
DAC blind test: NO audible difference whatsoever
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Old 17th July 2018, 03:00 PM   #1871
scott wurcer is offline scott wurcer  United States
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I would assume parlor tricks, propaganda, and misdirection can apply to both "sides" of the issue. Jakob makes a good point about level of blindness, when evaluating wines they were usually served double blind but everyone was presented with the list of what was there, is this single blind? In our case even the host did not know the order since the wines were transferred to unmarked bottles with a hidden code.
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Old 17th July 2018, 03:39 PM   #1872
starkeyg is offline starkeyg
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Hello,

Some think the brain is a precision instrument and don't know, or don't want to know how easily it can be fooled. (for example 90% + of peoples brain fail this test @ YouTube Or look up N-rays, that fooled multiple "experts".

Those that do realize how fallible the brain is, want quality testing so they have reason to believe the results are actual reality and they are not fooling themselves. Believe it or not, the scientific method does work and has taken us to space and down to the sub atomic level.

True believers in anything will believe regardless of any argument or tests that counter their beliefs. Discussion is rather pointless because of this. Just let it go that some will never agree.
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Old 17th July 2018, 03:41 PM   #1873
mmerrill99 is offline mmerrill99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott wurcer View Post
I would assume parlor tricks, propaganda, and misdirection can apply to both "sides" of the issue.
Parlor tricks passed off as scientific, gold standard, only applies to one side, sorry to say.
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Old 17th July 2018, 03:53 PM   #1874
scott wurcer is offline scott wurcer  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmerrill99 View Post
Parlor tricks passed off as scientific, gold standard, only applies to one side, sorry to say.
The other scott is right, why hasn't this thread run its course? The cable fraud thread did.
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Old 17th July 2018, 03:53 PM   #1875
jplesset is offline jplesset  United States
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Hm,. . . I've been reading this thread since the first day. I have been quite amused by the very strong statements made by several of the participants here. Just a small point...


1. If the differences between the various devices under test are so small that the DBT can not pick them up, even with upgraded speakers/amps, how important ARE these differences even if they exist? To me, not very important. I would rather spend the delta on better places, like speakers.


2. If DBT testing is so poor at finding such subtle differences, please provide a clear statement of a methodology that will show them, without attempting to trash existing methods that have been used for years.


My history includes owning a high-end audio shop, and buying the coolaid about "tubes are better" for years, even though I could never hear this myself. Some customers clearly could hear such differences.
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Old 17th July 2018, 04:27 PM   #1876
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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mmerrill99 seems the keenest to stimulate this thread, I can't see anything about him in his profile, just saying
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Old 17th July 2018, 04:49 PM   #1877
Jakob2 is offline Jakob2  Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post
<snip>
They are only somewhat common for digital, line level (not that often though) and accessories (cables).
Sorry i could have been more clear on that (thought it would be a given in this context and considering the ongoing discussion in this thread), as i meant "discussion on questionable/questioned effects"

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The reason is simple: in many cases, the differences claimed are unlikely. We're speaking of electrical signals easily compared to 120db down. No overload conditions, no clipping, no interference with a room, nada. It might be the only field I can think of where people claim to perceive stuff that cannot be measured.
As you might remember, iīve asserted several times that the personal belief framework is important in this regard. One corrobation is imo the fact - that you mentioned too - of rare blind test demand in speaker threads, although we have a lot of evidence that listenerīs judgements were heavenly biased in sighted/open tests. Therefore my comment in an answer directed to you, that you might have helped a member saving some money in not buying another cable (or whatever questionable thing) but did nothing to hold him back from loosing the same money on buying the wrong speaker.

It is often not about differences that canīt be measured, but about measured (or measureable) differences that allegedly canīt be heard.

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In such a situation, the burden of the proof is on the ones making claims.
More precisely your demand of proof is directly dependent on your personal belief about what can not/should not make an audible difference.

And that leads to the important question what kind of evidence you were willing to accept although running contrary to your (prior) belief.
My experience over all those years in audio forums is that only negative results were accepted, positive results were not.
(Iīve asked that question in another forum and maybe should open a thread in the lounge here)

A list of arguments (for not accepting positive results) iīve already posted some time ago.

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It's there a better way out there than DBT ? What do you propose? A bunch of anecdotes won't do, especially not in a field so ripe with shady marketing and lemming effect.
There surely is shady marketing and lemming effect (did i already mention that most likely there exists fraud where humans are interacting? ) but you should admit that it could affect (beside ignorance, ego drive and so on) the "non golden ear side" equally. Nobody benefits from a dollar spent elsewhere ...(ok there are exceptions to that rule...)

You asked what i propose; i strongly recommend to learn to listen for evaluational purposes. In case of fear that it might limit your joy in listening because you canīt stop thinking about evaluation, you might only try to consider your emotional response.

Use educational material like the EBU SQAM samples i mentioned some time ago, listen to different material on the same reproduction chain and take the same material to different locations (different in acoustics and gear).
It is a matter of experience and listening to real acoustical events helps as well to get a fealing for the restrictions and possibilities of the various reproduction schemes.

Use qualitative methods, like describing in a refined way where differences in the presentations are, find out what happens if you hear over a prolonged time span (means for a session and for days/weeks/months as well).

Use "blind tests" as well, but train for it. It doesnīt have to be "ABX" (means in most cases it should not be "ABX" ),as the ABX only helps answering the mainly not important question.
Use known differences for training and try to find out which kind of setup/protocol works best for you. You will learn something about your perception, but donīt be disappointed to find out that it most likely will not help in forum discussion when you got positive results.

Anecdotical evidence might help; the tricky part is to find out which other human you can trust, because his/hers internal music processing is similar to yours.
As iīve said surely before, imo audio isnīt that different from other parts of our live. We constantly get recommendations or judgements form other humans and have to sort out what is of relevance for us.
Works often quite well even without demanding scientific proof, but sometimes it obviously fails........

Last edited by Jakob2; 17th July 2018 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 17th July 2018, 05:04 PM   #1878
Jakob2 is offline Jakob2  Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott wurcer View Post
I would assume parlor tricks, propaganda, and misdirection can apply to both "sides" of the issue.
Sure, but as one side claims to be represent the scientific point of view, it is imo fair to demand more "science" from them and less "propaganda" .

Quote:
Jakob makes a good point about level of blindness, when evaluating wines they were usually served double blind but everyone was presented with the list of what was there, is this single blind?
The procedure might be "double blind" and when done by a sensory lab it most probably is, but in the wine world the term "single blind" means that the participants get some informations about the wine in the flight (grape, region, age and so on) while he term "double blind" means the participants get no information about the wine.

In this context a "double blind" wine tasting can nevertheless be single blind sensory experiment. Obviously, the kind of test scott wurcer describes , a same/different trial will be rare.

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In our case even the host did not know the order since the wines were transferred to unmarked bottles with a hidden code.
Was then "double blind" in wine jargon and "double blind" in sensory evaluation terms.

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Originally Posted by scott wurcer View Post
The other scott is right, why hasn't this thread run its course? The cable fraud thread did.
Imo the cable fraud thread was closed way to soon (itīs frustrating not being able to answer questions because overnight a thread gets closed, happens quite often to me) and closing a "DBT thread" will not make the topic "DBT/ABX" disappear.
So why not try to get to the ground and maybe even settle some points?
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Old 17th July 2018, 05:16 PM   #1879
Jakob2 is offline Jakob2  Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplesset View Post
<snip>
1. If the differences between the various devices under test are so small that the DBT can not pick them up, even with upgraded speakers/amps, how important ARE these differences even if they exist? To me, not very important. I would rather spend the delta on better places, like speakers.
Looks like a reasonable argument (and was in fact already asserted after the first justified critic of the ABX attempts was published in 1986) but generally it is hard to say. I donīt want to repeat the "inattentional blindness/deafness" examples but it is know that even quite large differences can remain undetected in controlled experiments, provided the "distraction level" is sufficiently high.

The detection rate depends on the degree of a difference and the detection ability of the listener under the specific conditions of the test.
So even the opposite can be true; a perfect detection rate of a listener (in a test) does not ensure that the difference is of relevance for you not even that it is for the listener when considering the normal,daily listening.

Quote:
2. If DBT testing is so poor at finding such subtle differences, please provide a clear statement of a methodology that will show them, without attempting to trash existing methods that have been used for years.
We are not talking about "DBT" in general but about specific experimental methods used in the audio field and specific tests that were done.
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Old 17th July 2018, 07:03 PM   #1880
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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@Jakob: thank you for the (as always) well considered and polite answer. A few short points.

As years go by and I listen to more stuff, my overall feeling is that I'm getting better at discerning and describing differences between speakers, headphones or even amps. Probably in more sober terms than in the past. On the other hand, I feel exactly the opposite with DACs for example. The lower end stuff has gotten quite a bit better, at a pace outstripping my progress. Maybe not exactly more reliable though.

I'm more a headphones guy than a speaker guy. I actually don't mind the dozens headphones I've been through. Mostly on the basis of Internet advice. It's hard to audition headphones. It's been a fun journey. Amp wise, as a diyer, I've slowly lost my illusions. Most competent designs I've built sound remarkably alike, tube, opamps or discrete. They're fun to build however.

I don't expect to save anyone from buying the wrong speaker. It's like wine, too subjective. When I advice a friend, my position is: don't waste your money on cables (above what's needed for something solid and reliable), be aware of the crazy diminishing returns, if any, for amps and DACs once you're above 1000$ (more for high power amps) and you're on your own for the speakers. So listen, listen, listen (to the speakers, not the salesman). Once you've found something you like, we will find the rest.
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